ARC provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.
Be still, my heart. This really was the romcom of my dreams. My whole life, I’ve been obsessed with going to renaissance fairs every fall in Michigan. My heart (and my nostalgia) is just so strong thinking about the memories I have from each year I went, numerous times. But never have I ever read a book where the setting was a renaissance fair! Well, that is until Jen DeLuca decided to give me everything I’ve ever wanted.
➽ Emily 24, travels across the country, to a very small town, after a breakup to help out her sister and niece while her sister recovers from an accident. Her niece, Caitlin, very much wants to be a part of the renaissance fair this year, but she needs a parental guardian to volunteer as well! Emily soon turns into Emma, the tavern wench.
➽ Simon 27, a high school English teacher, and very protective of his town’s renaissance fair, that he helps run every year, while he also becomes Ian Blackthorn, the hottest pirate ever.
“Emma the Tavern Wench was turned on by Captain Blackthorn, Pirate. This could be a problem.”
I mean, you all know where this is going. But the ride? One of the best I’ve been on for all of 2019. I fell so in love with both of these characters and everything they were going through, while also wishing that Willow Creek, Maryland, was a real town, because I fell in love with the entire community, on and off the fairgrounds.
I loved the themes of family and community throughout this story too. The unconditional love between Emily and her sister and niece was the stuff of dreams, and it was a treat to read. The angst between Emily and Simon was the stuff of magic.
“Let us love you, and remind you that you’re worth it until you figure out what you’re going to do next.”
Overall, I just adored this one. From the romance, to the witty banter, to the sex, to the small-town setting, to the unconditional love of family, it was just everything. I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this one. This is such a unique gift to the romcom world, and I hope you all pick it up and fall in love with it soon.
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one (non-hodgkin’s lymphoma), grief deception, depression depiction, and abandonment.